8/22/09 White Water Rafting at Nantahala Outdoor Center!
Wow! This was our first experience white water rafting and I will tell you this: "You've got to do it!" We rafted the Nantahala, a Class I/II river with a Class III fall at the end. From The Mountain Landing it's just a short 45 minutes away; however, I caution you that if you go, plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time so you can park, walk, and register. In fact, here's what I would recommend:
Go online and print and fill out/sign your waiver forms for every person the night before
Arrive a half hour before your departure time so you can park and change and turn in your registration forms
It happened to rain the entire night before and the river was up 4" from normal. The place was packed with people and we got caught by the train from Bryson City (be sure to time that and avoid it). Next time I think we'll go early enough to try one of the three restaurants there.
The drive up the river had us getting assigned to our rafting leader. We did a fully guided raft which was well worth it - in fact, I recommend it as we did rock bumps, rapid spins, touch the bridge, surf the rapid, and other neat things. We got plenty wet and if you didn't get wet, our guide made sure on the next rapid you were wet! At the end we purchased six pictures of our trip down the Nantahala Falls, a Class III rapid.
We enjoyed it so much we will be making a return trip for one of the more advanced rivers (Class III/IV). Here's a compilation video of the rafting trip - enjoy!
We headed up to The Mountain Landing for Spring Break - a little rest, relaxation, and spring cleaning too! It was very odd weather in that it was sunny and in the 70's for the first couple of days followed by sub-30 degree temperatures and 5" of snow! The later part of the week was warmer, but rainy and all the snow disappeared. We purchased a new table for the hottub deck along with outdoor towel hooks and a new clock/temparature thingy.
Here are some photos during the week.Don't forget to mouse over or click for a larger image.
Step 1: Pack a bag full of long underwear, turtle necks, gloves, hats, and warm socks
Step 2: Tie the skiis to the roof of the car
Step 3: Hit the ski trails!
We loaded up the Jeep for a long weekend romp in the snow. I must say, Maggie Valley in the winter is quite beautiful! It was a balmy 3 degrees upon arrival at The Mountain Landing. By Saturday, the snow was falling and continued to fall until Tuesday afternoon! Perfect skiing conditions at Cataloochee. However, getting up at 6:00 am was a bit rough - but after a couple cups of coffee it was off to the slopes. Cataloochee is the perfect place to get your ski fix in. From The Mountain Landing it's a short 4 miles to the top of the mountain where you can ski from 8:30 am until 10:00 pm - yes, they have night skiing! We skied a half day which was a good thing as the long MLK weekend brought the masses out; however, we will come again on an off weekend. I highly recommend Cataloochee as a "must do" during the winter months. Check out the video below!
Here are some photos of the days event. I think the dogs had a blast in the snow too! Don't forget to mouse over or click for a larger image.
12/12/08 Dillsboro, NC - LIGHTS & LUMINARIES – AND FIREWORKS
On Saturday, 12/12, we made the quick 25 minute trek back to Dillsboro, NC for the Lights, Luminaries, and Fireworks festival. We journeyed back to the days of yester-year as Dillsboro presented its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. The entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song. 2500 luminaries light our way to shops and studios. Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
The Festival wrapped up with a bang when a holiday fireworks display lit up the night sky. The Fireworks were silver and white, with touches of red and green for the season.
You definitely want to put this on your list of things to do next holiday season! Note: Mouse over the image for a larger view.
Well, we got lucky and no one rented the house for one of the peak fall foilage weekends in the mountains so at the last minute we headed up for a georgeous view! We added a pumpkin face tree topper to the artificial tree in the sunroom and decked out the front of the house with a scarecrow, corn stalks, and pumpkins. This also marked the first trip to the mountains for our newest addition, Kona - a greyhound/labrador mix. He and Alby get along great and he had a wonderful time romping through the woods in search of anything that moved :-) Check out the photos and don't forget to mouse over the image for a larger view.
We went up to Maggie Valley for the July 4th Red White and Boom fireworks show at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds and what a cool thing to do! We grabbed two lawn chairs and parked behind the Subway just west of the festival grounds. We grabbed some subs and walked down another 100 yards or so and setup camp in the grass on the side of the road looking directly at the mountains behind the festival grounds. It was the perfect spot to watch the fireworks show. One of the cool things was when the fireworks went off, you could hear another distant 'boom' a couple of seconds later as the boom echoed through the valley! You definitely want to put this on your to do list for next year.
I also hung our 'moose' birdhouse outside the kitchen window - hopefully we'll get a wren or chickadee next this spring! Don't forget to mouse over the image for a larger view.